The San Jose Sharks general manager envisions the superstar defenseman as part of the club's future beyond the upcoming season. "The word "elite" is often thrown around casually but Erik's skillset and abilities fit that description like few other players in today's game". After just missing out on John Tavares, the Sharks were able to land a whale this offseason to go with Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the blueline. Jones, who has at least 30 wins in each of his three seasons with San Jose, could challenge or even exceed his National Hockey League career high (37 in 2015-16) with Karlsson, Burns and Vlasic in front of him.
In exchange for Karlsson, the Senators received forward Chris Tierney, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, a first-round pick in 2020, a second-round selection in 2019, and two conditional picks.
Karlsson rumors are indeed intensifying, however talking to people I get the sense that most of the people/chatter implying this is "really close to happening" is being driven once again by Ottawa's desire to force the hand of some of the teams with which they have discussed Karlsson. Ottawa gets a second-round choice in the 2019 draft from San Jose (which will be the higher of the two picks the Sharks now own - the Florida Panthers' and their own).
The Senators will also receive a second-round pick in 2021 or a first-round pick. Forget the fact that he was entering the final year of his contract, because all the teams bidding for Karlsson did considering his unique game. And they also failed to ditch the disastrous Bobby Ryan contract, which was a massive road block in trade talks with teams like the Vegas Golden Knights. Burns, 33, remains a top three defenseman option (with Karlsson and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning) but has been surpassed by Karlsson in the fantasy rankings and is better suited for the 25-30 range overall, compared to his higher ADP (19.5).
"This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team", said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. "We are going to build a culture of consistency which will allow this team to sustain better performance over the long term". Norris was a 2017 first-round pick by the Sharks, and posted eight goals and 23 points in 37 games with his freshman season with MI a year ago. He also led the team in average ice time (26:44, 3rd in the NHL), was second in blocked shots (120) and takeaways (55) and second in scoring with 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists). In 627 career regular season games over nine seasons with Ottawa, he has tallied 126 goals and 518 points.
The Sharks never let up in their interest in Karlsson and made the addition without giving up a top-six forward or top-four defenseman from the current roster. He had career highs with 17 goals and 23 assists and played all 82 games.
Last season, Melnyk angered Ottawa fans by musing to reporters that he might move the club if ticket sales didn't pick up.